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The Robe (1953)

Director:
Henry Koster
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Historical/Biblical/Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
-
RUNNING TIME
135 minutes
Producer:
Frank Ross
Screenwriter (based on the play by Lloyd C. Douglas):
Gina Kaus
Albert Maltz
Philip Dunne


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Marcellus Gallio Richard Burton
Diana Jean Simmons
Demetrius Victor Mature
Peter Michael Rennie
Caligula Jay Robinson
Justus Dean Jagger
Senator Gallio Torin Thatcher
Pontius Pilate Richard Boone
Miriam Betta St. John
Paulus Jeff Morrow
Tiberius Ernest Thesiger

 

Review

A young and dashing Richard Burton displayed his talent and impeccable line-delivery, but also his theatricality and often stiffness in front of the camera in this historically interesting, but ultimately awkwardly religious twaddle. The first half of the film is easily the best, as the filmmakers present the emergence of Jesus Christ as an insurgent in the eyes of the Romans. The film is at its best depicting Roman culture, way-of-life and above all smugness, and Jay Robinson's gaudy performance as Caligula is the epitome of all this. Burton, on the other hand, is more laid-back. He delivers the occasional clever snippets and sexy glances, but once his character is required to have "seen the light", so to speak, his performance becomes painfully technical. It's obvious he was anything but convinced himself, and director Koster and producer Ross ultimately run amok with their supposedly God-given ideas. It's not that the film doesn't stay historically accurate enough, it's more that it cannot help becoming overindulgent in its own relevance which of course, seen in retrospect is completely off target.

Copyright 09.08.2016 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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